New Delhi, February 21: “Language is the roadmap of culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” Well said by Rita Mae Brown. Language is a corridor which takes you to the culture of particular person. Every person has its own language to speak and every language possesses different culture. Happy International Mother Language Day to everyone out there!UNESCO’s unique way to promote and preserve the enriching diverse culture through language is the motto behind celebrating International Mother Language Day throughout the globe. It dates back in 1952 when four young students were killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh because of Bengali and Urdu language controversy. Languages are the most powerful way to preserve and develop culture and to promote it all across the world. Because of this unfortunate incident, International Mother Language Day is celebrated in all over the world, while it is a “Shaheed Diwas” in Bangladesh.
The objective of International Mother Language day is to promote linguistic and cultural goodwill among the diverse population. It aims to foster unity among various nations as it promotes the preservation and protection of all languages used by people all over the world.
During early 20’s Indian vernacular languages had dominance in various fields as compared to the English language. But today it is unfortunate that while heading towards development we somewhere lack to preserve and promote our own mother tongue. Every other language has its own beauty and a culture hidden in it; people often prioritize English as compared to the mother languages. A Hindi saying- ‘kos kos par paani badle, chaar kos par baani’ enchants the diversity prevails everywhere and people still unify with their mother languages.
Official numbers state that 122 languages remain in India. However, if we go by acclaimed literary critic Ganesh Devy’s exhaustive study on Indian languages, People’s Linguistic Survey of India, there are 780 languages spoken in India. The survey, spread across 35,000 pages and 50 volumes, claims that 220 Indian languages have become extinct in the past 50 years, and suspects 150 more languages will disappear in the next 50 years. The lack of representation of Indian languages on the internet can also be attributed to its limited reach among the non-English-speaking audience. According to the results of the Indian Readership Survey conducted in 2013, nine out of the 10 most read newspapers are in Hindi and other regional languages. Only one, The Times of India, is an English publication. India Today was the only English magazine among the top 10 magazines. Five of the most widely read magazines were published in Hindi while the remaining four were published in Malayalam.
Hindi being a national language of India is getting overshadowed with English as we want to get modern as western people. Learning a language is understood but loosing the importance of our own language should not be taken lightly. Mother tongue is what we represent to the world and from where the culture depicts our uniqueness. Come people let us make our mother language powerful and contagious that English people fall in love for Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Urdu, Gujarati etc languages.
Every one of us have the soft corner for our mother tongue as it bounds us to our roots from where we hail, with our culture and also as our identity. Of course our mother language is our identity of our culture and we should wear it with pride. Better late than never, let us promote our own mother language and spread our love. This is because language bounds us and we should keep alive throughout.